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MSTP Well-Represented at the 2018 Annual Retreat for Cancer Research

Posted by on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 in Honors and Awards.

by Rachel Brown (G2)

 

On November 16th, the 18th Annual Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Program in Cancer Biology Retreat for Cancer Research was held at the Student Life Center. Highlights of the event included a keynote address by a famous cancer researcher, talks by postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and graduate students, a poster session, and a silent auction to benefit cancer patients.The retreat was planned and hosted by the 2018-2019 Cancer Biology Student Association (CBSA) officers, including Philanthropy Co-Chairs Rachel Brown (G2) and Sam Beik (G1) and Academic Co-Chair Courtney Edwards (G1).

Our featured keynote speaker was Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., a Distinguished Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Dr. Bissell, who has been highly recognized for her contributions to breast cancer research and the role of the extracellular matrix in the regulation of gene expression in normal and malignant tissues. We also heard from Patient Advocate Betsy Williams who shared her personal experiences with oropharyngeal cancer.

The MSTP was also highly represented at the retreat! Stephanie Dudzinski (G4), Eileen Shiuan (G4), Maggie Axelrod (G2), and Rachel Brown (G2) were all selected for talks due to their high-scoring abstracts. Maggie won 2nd place for best graduate student talk, and Rachel won 3rd place for best graduate student talk.

During breaks throughout the day and the poster session, Rachel and Sam also held a silent auction to benefit Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, one of more than 55 nonprofit Cancer Support Community affiliates worldwide. Gilda’s Club, located right in Midtown, offers support groups, lectures, workshops, and social events for all ages. All of these services are offered completely free of charge for cancer patients and their families. Businesses from all over Tennessee, as well as faculty and students in the Program in Cancer Biology, helped make the silent auction a success by donating and bidding on items. The MSTP Swag Bag donated by the MSTP Leadership Team was a huge hit. We raised over $1800 to support cancer patients and their families, and donated it on Giving Tuesday as a matched donation.

If you are an MSTP M1 or M2 considering doing a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology or are interested in meeting potential thesis mentors, I would highly recommend attending next year’s Retreat for Cancer Research. It was a great place to learn more about Vanderbilt investigators’ and their students’ work, as well as develop new ideas for my own thesis project!

 

Our featured keynote speaker was Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., a Distinguished Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

 

         

Stephanie Dudzinski (G4), Eileen Shiuan (G4), Maggie Axelrod (G2), and Rachel Brown (G2) were all selected for talks due to their high-scoring abstracts. Maggie won 2nd place for best graduate student talk, and Rachel won 3rd place for best graduate student talk!

 

      

The Silent Auction to Benefit Gilda’s Club hosted by Rachel Brown (G2) and Sam Beik (G1) raised over $1800 to support cancer patients and their families, and donated it on Giving Tuesday as a matched donation.